How Odumodublvck's success with Declan Rice could shape the Nigerian Music Industry

Odumodublvck has attained success with Declan Rice, but what next for the Nigerian Music Industry?

How Odumodublvck's success with Declan Rice could shape the Nigerian Music Industry

David Ben 18:26 - 16.07.2023

Four months later, Odudmodublvck's 'Declan Rice' has become the favourite song of Arsenal FC's new favourite son.

Fast-rising Nigerian rapper Odumodublvck has recently made the headlines, having managed to create one of the most popular songs in world football.

Following the 2023 general elections in Nigeria, Abuja-based rapper Odumodublvck finally released his highly-anticipated single, ‘Declan Rice’.

Declan Riceis a rap song by the Nigerian songwriter, rapper and singer that alludes to the England and Arsenal midfielder.

Declan Rice Odumodublvck
'Declan Rice' Cover Art - Odumodublvck

Before the song’s release in March, the first snippet was posted in January on his Instagram page without any information on its release. 

The snippet which went viral on social media, left fans speculating about a sooner release.

Odumodublvck’s song has endured a meteoric rise on the local music charts, rivalling some of the big names in Afrobeat.

As of July 2023, 'Declan Rice' has more than 8.4 million streams on Spotify, making it the biggest song of his career so far.

The visuals for ‘Declan Rice’ has also amassed more than 1.1 million views on YouTube.

 Even before Rice signed for Arsenal, fans on social media were speculating that the song would be used to announce his imminent arrival from West Ham, as soon as the 23-year-old Three Lions star had given a stamp of approval before it was officially released.

Quite frankly, the Declan Rice transfer saga turned out the way most football fans expected, even though, there was a cheeky attempt by Manchester City to rival the Gunners for his signature.

Declan Rice Odumodublvck
Declan Rice became Arsenal's most expensive signing of all time this summer

Arsenal and West Ham finally managed to reach an agreement after the playing made it crystal clear, the Emirates stadium was his dream move.

Weeks later, West Ham announced that their club captain had left the club after leading the Hammers to their first European silverware since 1965, and the club’s first trophy in 43 years.

Declan Rice
Declan Rice left West Ham this summer after leading them to tehir first silverware in 43 years

Declan Rice left West Ham as a true servant, a captain, leader, and legend at the age of just 23.

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Despite West Ham’s immense attempts to keep him, it became increasingly obvious in the final stretch of the 2022/23 season that the Three Lions midfielder would make his exit, and through the front door for that matter.

Moments after Rice’s exit, Arsenal announced the arrival of the England international in spectacular fashion, and what better to unveil their new signing than using the very song that has been recently rocking the airwaves in London and Nigeria.

Arsenal announced the signing of Declan Rice with a clip of the English star in the new Gunners kit, while Odumodublvck’s ‘Declan Rice’ song played in the background.

The move would confirm Rice as the most-expensive British footballer of all time after Arsenal and West Ham came to terms for a club-record fee of £105m.

 However, fans were quick to point out that new lyrics could be heard from the song playing in the background, which is a clear indication that Odumodublvck had indeed been contacted to change the lyrics for the Rice Arsenal announcement.

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It came as no surprise to most Nigerian fans on social media, as there had been widespread speculation that Odumodublvck’s song will also play a role in Declan Rice’s triumphant entry to North London.

Odumodublvck Declan Rice Arsenal
Arsenal used Odumodublvck's Declan Rice song to announce their record-summer signing

24 hours later, Declan Rice to Arsenal announcement video featuring Odumodu’s song has generated over 28 million views on Twitter, 285,202 likes, and over 113k retweets and quotes.

On Instagram, it amassed over 13 million views, more than 840,000 likes and nearly 30,000 comments.

Pulse Sports gathered from a source that Odumodublvck was also paid to have his ‘Declan Rice’ song featured on the Arsenal platform.

The source revealed that Odumodublvck signed a 'syncing contract' over the licensing of the ‘Declan Rice’ record.

Odumodu’s reach has continued to grow outside of Nigeria alongside Declan Rice’s reach in West Africa.

Odumodublvck Declan Rice Arsenal
Nigerian rapper Odumodublvck

In the last 24 hours, the Native Records signee reportedly saw his monthly listeners on Spotify go up by at least 100,000.

Declan Rice has equally become a fan-favourite amongst fans of Afrobeat and even non-supporters of Arsenal, simply because of Odumodu’s song.

'Declan Rice' is a record that resonates with the player and the rapper himself even though these are two different personalities juxtaposed in one song.

However, as Odumodu continues to gain the plaudits for his latest hit single, many continue to wonder why it worked or what precedents it would set for the future of Afrobeats.

For starters, in Odumodu’s case, it was simply a matter of picking the right moment and also having the stars align with the Abuja-based rapper at the time.

At a time when the Afrobeat space was almost entirely saturated with the same sounds on repeat/release week in-week out, and the biggest Afrobeat artistes touring the biggest cities across the globe, the Nigerian audience knowingly or unknowingly needed a break from the norm, and something different to feed their ears.

Odumodublvck Declan Rice Arsenal
Odumodublvck released a song called 'Declan Rice' in March 2023

Odumodu was the answer and it’s fair to say he just had to be - considering how chaotic the first three months of 2023 was in Nigeria, with over 200 million Nigerians awaiting the country’s fate at the polls.

Regardless, Odumodu had been proactive enough to post the catchy snippet on his socials, two months before the presidential elections, as many fans of the rapper were left anticipating the song’s release.

What followed was that the snippet had already started trend on popular social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram, this triggered an immense craving from the Afrobeat audience to feast on a new sound properly.

After the elections, it was pretty much a formality when Odumodu released Declan Rice, as it had both the player buzzin', his fans buzzin', West Ham fans buzzin', and Odumodu’s fans promoting the song on social media as the song continued to sit pretty on the local music charts.

Declan Rice and Odumodublvck
Declan Rice and Odumodublvck linked up after the release of the song.

However, this was not the first time Odumodu sang about football or a prominent footballer.

Odumodu had previously released a song titled, Kevin de Bruyne pass’ which alluded to Manchester City’s Belgian midfield maestro.

However, the song didn’t get as much attention as Declan Rice is doing, not because it was a bad song, but other circumstances, including the release's timing, contributed to why it didn’t blow.

Odumodu isn’t also the only Nigerian artiste who has sang about football or cited footballers in their song.

Multi-Award-winning Afrobeat megastar Davido did so in 2017 with global smash-hit ‘Fall’ where he cited five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo.

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Not only did that song earn Davido millions of streams worldwide and Gold and Platinum certifications in the US, Canada and France - it also saw OBO become the first and only Nigerian to be followed by the Portuguese legend on Instagram, for which he remains the most-followed human on the planet.

Davido also named his song after another footballer in the person of former Chelsea midfielder N’golo Kante, in a song off his fourth studio album, Timeless, which he featured fast-rising Afrobeat songstress FAVE.

BNXN fka. Buju referenced Liverpool star Mohamed Salah after being tapped by record producer and singer Pheelz for the 2022 viral smash hit, ‘Finesse’, before also referencing Super Falcons of Nigeria star Asisat Oshoala in ‘Omo Elewa’.

There are at least 9 songs by Nigerian music artistes that have alluded to prominent footballers since the 2010s.

However, seeing how Odumodu’s ‘Declan Rice’ song has taken the local and international airwaves by storm, it is pertinent to note that his success comes with a few effects on the Afrobeat scene.

On one hand, the genre has already enjoyed so much positives in the last five years, sweeping international awards unprovoked, and affirming its status as the no.1 music genre in Africa.

Odumodublvck Declan Rice Arsenal
Odumodublvck's 'Declan Rice' song has clearly highlighted another huge win for Afrobeat on the global scene

Odumodu’s 'Declan Rice' only adds to these positives as Afrobeat continues to penetrate more markets globally.

Additionally, 'Declan Rice' spells a great deal of hope for the rap scene in Nigeria, as the genre had seemingly gone extinct from the mainstream. 

Odumodu alongside a few other artistes are seemingly leading the charge to commercialize rap in Nigeria once more….who would have thought?

On the other hand, there has already been speculations that Odumodu’s ‘Declan Rice’ will create a trend that will see more Nigerian artistes allude their songs to prominent football stars who have far more reach than their brands.

Declan Rice Odumodublvck
Declan Rice signed for Arsenal this summer having joined from West Ham

In Odumodublvck’s case, he did not only grow his brand and boost his social media following but also indirectly boosted Declan Rice’s following in Nigeria.

Nigeria is the largest consumer of social media platforms in Africa, and reports suggest that the former West Ham captain has gained over 200,000 Nigerian followers since March 2023.

However, some industry experts have suggested that while a number of Afrobeat artistes could try Odumodu’s strategy and allude their songs to football stars, it would be nearly impossible to replicate the level of success witnessed in the last four months alone.

The Afro space is constantly changing and switching between sounds, and while it may not be ruled out that Odumodu’s recent success will similarly emerge with another song or from another artist, it is still very much dependent on certain forces beyond pumping millions of naira into promoting a record.

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